Category: future reference

Tues. May 25, 2021 – even Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn lived through it

Warm and damp, but maybe not raining all day. Yesterday finally dried up in the mid and late afternoon, but by then everything was saturated and my day was shot.

So I stayed in and did cleaning and paperwork. I let it go far too long. Every year I think I will get a better handle on it, and every year I don’t. I don’t beat myself up too hard about it anymore, but it does lead to stress for my wife and me, that could be avoided by some more consistent habits. It also takes big chunks of time when I leave it to be done last minute, that I’d be better off using for just about anything else.

That points out two things- staying on top of a job by doing little bits as they come in saves the big effort later, and the flip side, you can spend a great deal of time doing stuff a little bit at a time, that you completely lose track of because it gets lost in the noise of your normal life. In other words, you can either piss away a lot of time on small tasks, or you can use the little bits of time efficiently and save a big continuous chunk for use later. I guess it depends on the task and your personality which is which…

Today I’ve got auction stuff to drop off if the weather is dry, an orthodontia appointment for oldest, and a Costco run, along with the usual errands.


The idea that hyperinflation might be coming is spreading throughout the prep-o-sphere and related circles on the blogoverse Venn diagram. Peter has some interesting things aggregated over at I’ve linked to him before, his ongoing observations on irregular warfare and his experiences in failed states and conflict zones are well worth your time. He mostly blogs about gun stuff and writing with a healthy dose of preparedness (not necessarily ‘prepping’.) Lately he’s been addressing some of the basics as if they’ve just come up for him (which is odd) but it does lead to some good comments. There is also the usual bunch of “waddabout-ism”- “waddabout after the zombies eat your wife, what’ll you do for laundry then?” and shite like that that always crops up… This time it was “waddabout after your pile of stored food runs out? Waddabout then? Huh?” Go read the post and the comments for yourself, and then think about it.

My response there was that all your preps basically give you time and choices when it comes to adapting to the new circumstances, and that there are always more options. Which led to a comment about solar powered freezers and a company I’m not familiar with, SunDanzer that specializes in off grid freezers. I don’t have any experience with them, but they look the business, and it’s one more option, so I’m linking it here.

It is VERY common when talking about storing food, especially frozen food, to get the “waddabout”. What about when the power goes out? Get a gennie. What about when the gennie runs out of fuel? Go to solar and batteries. What about when you’ve eaten all the frozen food? Well, you won’t need to worry about powering the freezer, you’ll be too busy working on your garden, hunting, or roasting strays over gasoline fires… The “waddabout” thinks every option is the only one, the last one, and because it’s limited or has flaws, it’s useless. The “waddabout” is frustrating and can be infuriating if you’ve already asked the questions and considered answers.

It’s frustrating because asking the question the “waddabout” asks IS valuable, if you don’t ask it as a ‘gotcha’ but as a way to explore second and third order effects and their problems. Absolutely ask “what do we do when the fuel runs out”? but then find an answer that works for you. Then iterate again and again, as far as your time, money, experience, and imagination will allow. Just going through the exercise is valuable. Actually doing some of the stuff to mitigate the problems is even more valuable. The “waddabout” stops with the first question, and sits gloating with his triumphant ‘gotcha’ shutting down the discussion. It’s a lot easier than actually prepping.

Attitude is everything. Mine is that “I’m going to get through this.” “I am going to get my family through this”, for whatever the values of ‘this’ turn out to be. This illness. This job loss. This economic collapse. This worldwide pandemic. This civil disturbance. This race war. This gulag.

Whatever the S in the SHTF turns out to be, I’m getting through it. Skills, people, and stuff will help. You need some of each, and more besides. Keep stacking.


(and not just get through it, LIVE and prosper afterward. Don’t forget that after you get through it, you’re just getting started…)

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Sun. Nov. 8, 2020 – like lambs to the slaughter

Cool, damp, sunny later.

Nice day on Saturday.  I did some things, picked up some things, bid on some things, and received some things I ordered.

Spent some time at my secondary working to free up space.  I realized that both of my local auction houses have basically said what I gave them is all they’re taking until next year.  Also, from Thanksgiving to February ebay sales have always been slow for me.  That means if I want to get the stuff out of my house, I need to either have an auction of my own, move some to my secondary and storage, or take a bunch to a listing service.  Or just start scrapping out what I can.  Or I embrace the power of and…

I will say I’m filled with anxiety.  The number of people celebrating the end of honest elections in the US is frankly terrifying.  Their willingness to overlook obvious problems, discount what the actual law and procedure say, and accept the biased media line they’re being fed doesn’t bode well for the future.  They’re well trained sheep, herded whatever direction the shepherd wants them to move.  Outrage on tap, denunciations, two minute hates- the whole shebang.   What’s the difference between a happy mob in the street and an unhappy mob?  Still a mob.  Still a wild animal, barely under control.

What have we already seen?  NATIONAL movements to deify career criminals, and demonize cops.  Mobs chanting “Death to America” in our cities.   Tide pod and other dangerous and idiotic challenges sweep across social media.  Freaking “13 Reasons Why” on television.  Blue whale on the internet.  FFS.  MTV broke the nation’s ability to concentrate and facebook, twitter, tiktok, et al broke the ability to think of consequences past 5 minutes of cut rate fame.

The biased media reports on the crooked count and people line up in the streets to celebrate.  Which, BTW, apparently means hounding people out of their homes…  It’s been only a few days.  The conditioning to expect instant and omniscient results has worked.  The mob acts like they think Trump will leave tomorrow and their new king will be crowned on Tuesday.

The left is already calling for ‘accountability’ and tracking of Trump supporters.  I feel like I’m suddenly in the USSR.  I know what an “accountability file” means when the far right uses it.  I’m pretty sure it means the same to the left.  And what it means in practice is imprisonment, impoverishment, and extra judicial killings.  Every single time.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that we have until February at the latest before the shooting starts in earnest.*   It’ll be kooks at first, or victims of the mob, but  singletons.  Then it’ll be sneaky but still basically suicide with no real hope of getting away with it.  THEN it’ll go pro.   I REALLY hope I’m wrong.  I really hope there are people on their side to calm the murderous masses.  I really hope the people on our side decide to live and fight another day.  I guess that will depend on how bad it gets, and how quickly.

I’ll also bet that they are calling for Trump to resign and ‘make way’ before the end of the coming week.   They’ll want to keep the momentum up before the law can catch up with the cheating.  They might use mobs in the street and threat of violence so Trump can resign to ‘calm passions’ ‘for the good of the nation’…  no one will want to hear a word about Hunter either, he’s going to get away with it.

Biden couldn’t even get through his first speech without a ‘gaffe’.   He won’t last until the Ides of March.  I’d put a case of Mountain House on that bet.**

There are people saying “it’s not that bad, he won’t have the Senate, it’ll be gridlock” and “he’ll suck so bad we’ll get it back in 4 years”.   Except we won’t.   The fix is in.  If they get away with it this time it will be worse next time.  And think about this, Ol’ Joe wakes up dead in February and the world mourns the passing of an elder statesman, just like drunken killer Kennedy… and we have Harris for 8 years, and her hand picked vice, AOC or the Iman, for 8 more after that.  The Mean Girls ™ will be armed with the full power of the bigcorps, and three letter agencies.  A weaponized IRS denying tax exempt status will seem so quaint, if any of the dirt people can even remember that.  It certainly won’t be in any of the online ‘learner tools’…

Long before those 16 years are up, we’ll be fighting for independence again.  I’ll have my Republic of Texas passport after all.  It’ll be printed in Spanish.

Keep stacking.



*by ‘shooting’ I mean armed violence, could be shooting, or arson, or bombings

** guess what it was before I changed it for sounding like a vague threat

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Wed. Aug. 26, 2020 – well, better get ready

Hot and humid.  Sweaty like a fat guy’s thighs.

I did move some stuff from the house to storage yesterday.  Not enough.  Not nearly enough.  I’ve got so much loose stuff laying around that I can only hope we don’t actually get high winds, or whale oil beef hooked.

Both of my auction contacts pushed me off on taking them loads of stuff.  Jeez.  I can’t get rid of this stuff.

I did spend some time in meatspace chatting with my buddy and his wife at the gu–  toy store.   He’s gonna consign a couple of things for me.  He’s still doing a brisk business in transfers, but what happens when ALL the inventory is gone and no one can buy anything that needs transferring, and there is no new inventory?  Other people have commented elsewhere that in the short and medium run, gu— toy stores are in economic trouble, despite high demand and prices.

There was a steady stream of people looking for ammo, and not finding it.  I’ll drop a small box by today if I get a chance to sweeten the deal on one of my items.

School is cancelled for today and tomorrow, with Friday still up in the air.  It all depends on Laura, and what she leaves in her wake here in Texas.  I’m hoping for a non-event.  Prepping for a big one, but hoping for small.

And I’m watching the insurgency spread.

At some point in the not too distance past, the move toward ‘officer safety’ started.  Cops began training to avoid going ‘hands on’ to prevent them from being injured*.  At the same time, someone decided that it didn’t look good for cops to be hitting The Usual Suspects(tm) with their fists or ESPECIALLY with sticks.   So someone made a change to policy, and the end state of that is cops are trained to shoot rather than grapple or fight.  Guns are stand off weapons.  Nightsticks, batons, etc, are close in weapons.  The cops can now keep their distance, but changes in doctrine let to changes in tactics.   Policy changes led to us being where we are today.  The same people that don’t want to see a cop with a stick hitting a suspect now cry out when the cop uses the tools and tactics he’s been trained to use, and shoots instead of strikes.  How’s that working out?  Ripples turning into waves….

Speaking of that, John Wilder throws out a number in his recent post, saying ” the dollar losing 7% of its value in three months”.   Without knowing where he got it, I was caught off guard because it was the first time I saw it put so starkly.   It’s what you’d expect when .gov makes the money printers go “brrrrrrr”.  It’s what you see when you’re paying more for everything, especially metals like gold and silver.  But upon reflection 7% seems way too small.  TP is almost double.  Gold went from $1500/oz to almost $2000.  Silver went from $17 to 26 (with higher spots in the last week).  Ammo and gun prices are sky high.  Granted that a lot of the increase in consumer goods pricing is due to scarcity, the metal pricing is more purely inflation for monetary reasons.  Either way, it looks like the dollar is buying a LOT LESS than 93% of what it did in March or June.  Taking a step back, that ripple looks like it could be a really big wave if it gets going.   Ask yourself why it isn’t front page news.  And why no one is framing that decline in purchasing power in terms of inflation.  Venezuela here we come.  Everyone will be shocked when they realize we’re suddenly there “without warning”.  Consider this (and the last couple of years) your fair warning. **

Everything’s better with bacon.  And butter.  And a full pantry.  Keep stacking.



* also about the same time, physical fitness standards were relaxed, and the recruiting pool was broadened.  A whole lot of cops were produced that couldn’t go hands on if they wanted to.

**I’m no financial guru and nothing I say is “financial advice” but I’m certainly taking a hard look at what my condition would be if all my cash and cash equivalents bought me half as much stuff, or one quarter as much, next year.   It might be a good idea to turn some of that cash into something that holds value a bit better, especially if there are bargains to be had.  Assuming I had any cash tucked away…


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Sunday, 13 November 2016

09:39 – I see that Trump has some hesitation about living in the White House as President, and who could blame him? Just because he’s been elected President doesn’t mean he and his family should have to take such a big step down in living accommodations. There’d be some other advantages to him living in his NYC penthouse, including the fact that he’d be far away from DC. He could, of course, use the White House for ceremonial events like withdrawing the US from so-called climate-change accords.

Anti-Trump rioting continued for a fourth night, although the MSM, including FoxNews, describes it as “protests”. I hope that local authorities understand that with Obama and his justice department on the way out, their hands are no longer tied when dealing with rioters. Peaceful protests are fine, and in fact should be encouraged. But when protesters cross the line by blocking streets, assaulting cops and civilians, and burning things down, they are no longer protesters. They are rioters, and should be met with lethal force.

I expect things to get worse before they get better, if they ever do. I have a sneaking suspicion that the prog establishment is secretly happy that Trump was elected. That way, when things get worse, they can blame everything on Trump. And things are going to get worse. Decades of prog rule have literally bankrupted the country, and the crash, when it comes, is not going to be pretty.

We’re about as well-prepared here as we can be, although we continue to make minor adds and tweaks as I think of weaknesses that need to be shored up. As always, I want to make sure that we have water, food, heating/cooking, power and communications, sanitation, medical, and defense needs covered. We’re actually in pretty good shape now on most of those. I do plan to put in another Walmart order for bulk staples and some miscellaneous stuff, but that’ll be it for LTS food for at least a while.

For future reference: A 2-liter soft drink bottle holds 3 pounds 14 ounces of pinto beans, which are free-flowing through a suitable funnel into the 2-liter bottle mouth.

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Sunday, 6 November 2016

08:46 – With only two days until the election, a lot of people are on-edge. I clearly remember every presidential election for the last 56 years, and with the possible exception of 1968, this one has the most potential for violent civil unrest. No matter which candidate “wins”, there are going to be tens of millions of people who won’t accept the result. If I had to guess, I think there’ll be scattered outbreaks of violence if Trump is declared the winner, but those scattered outbreaks could easily coalesce into nationwide looting and burning in the cities. Kind of like 1968, but much more extreme and wider-spread. If Clinton is declared winner, the likelihood of immediate violence is much lower, but the built-up resentment of us Normals isn’t going away. It’s like bringing a pot to a boil with no means of pressure release. When it blows, it’s going to be epic, and it is going to blow. Maybe not next week, next month, or even next year, but it’s impossible to avoid in the longer term. Normals, who are mostly WASPs, are very slow to anger and slower still to take extreme measures, but that patience has its limits. And those limits are very close to being exceeded, if they haven’t already.

Barbara and I are just going to settle in, watch the news, and see what happens Tuesday evening and the rest of the week. It’s extremely unlikely that there’ll be any real problems up here in the mountains, at least short-term, but events in the cities will tell the tale.

11:41 – For future reference: We had a #10 can of Augason Farms Potato Shreds that was down to only 125 grams (~ 4 servings) left, so I transferred the remaining food to a ziplock bag, tapped the can to clean it, and refilled it with Walmart Great Value macaroni from a 5-pound bag. The can holds 3 pounds, 14 ounces when filled very near the rim. I wanted to see what would happen if I added an oxygen absorber to the can and replaced the original snap-on plastic cap. My guess is that as the oxygen absorber works and creates a partial vacuum in the can the plastic lid will pop and lose its seal, but we’ll see. There’s no indication on the lid what plastic it’s made of, so it may be quite permeable to air.

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Thursday, 13 October 2016

09:00 – Barbara is due back from Winston sometime this afternoon. Colin and I can’t wait. She’s making a small Costco run on her way back to pick up mostly cold stuff like meat. The only LTS food I asked her to pick up was several 3.25-pound boxes of OreIda instant mashed potatoes. Yesterday I transferred what remained of the 3.25-pound box we’d just opened to 1.75-liter Tropicana orange juice bottles, ending up with one very full bottle and one very partial bottle.

For the last couple of months I’ve been expecting Trump to make a statement on healthcare. Something like:

If you like your Obamacare, you can keep your Obamacare. However, we will repeal the individual mandate and the employer mandate, so no one will be forced to pay for health insurance they don’t want. Nor will the federal government pay any portion of the cost, so whatever coverage you choose you must pay for out of your own pocket. Nor will the government force any insurer to cover any particular person or condition or to provide any particular benefit, which means coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, if available, will be extremely expensive.

It’s definitely autumn here. Cool days and nights down in the 30’s (~ 2 or 3C). We decided yesterday that the new driveway had had sufficient time to cure, so we removed the orange warning tape that had been blocking the drive and pulled the vehicles back into the garage. As I was standing out at the street end of the drive looking toward the house, it looked vaguely familiar. Then I realized that it was about the size of a standard singles tennis court, which I spent plenty of time on when I was in my teens and 20’s. A standard singles court is 27 feet wide by 78 feet long, with 21 feet between the baseline and the fence at each end, for a total of 120 feet. I got out the tape measure and measured the new drive. Sure enough, it was 25 feet wide and about 126 feet long. Now the only thing we need is fences and a net.

Being a serve-and-volley player with an overwhelming serve, I always loved fast surfaces. My absolute favorite surface was polished hardwood, because the speed and low bounce of the surface meant I served clean aces more often than not. My next favorite was grass, which was almost but not quite as fast as wood, and didn’t provide a much higher bounce than wood. My third favorite was concrete like we just had installed. It was a noticeably slower surface than wood or grass, but still much faster than Har-Tru or similar grippy hard court (green/blue/red) surfaces, and immensely faster than clay. And it had a very high bounce, usually higher than the net, which meant I could use a full Western grip off both sides and hit full-power flat ground strokes, and approach shots didn’t need to be chipped.

For future reference:

o A 1.75 liter Tropicana orange juice bottle holds at most 1 pound 15.4 ounces of Ore-Ida instant potato flakes if you tap it well to pack it down.

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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

09:32 – Barbara is leaving mid-afternoon to head down to Winston. She’s staying at her sister’s house tonight and heading home tomorrow afternoon after running errands. It’ll be wild women and parties for Colin and me. Or it would be, except that Lori, our USPS carrier and fellow prepper, keeps an eye on us when Barbara’s away.

One of Barbara’s friends from the historical society volunteers is just in the process of moving to Sparta from New Jersey. Her husband’s family is originally from Sparta, and she and her husband have actually owned a home here for years. She’s semi-retired from teaching and her husband is retiring, so they decided to relocate here. They have a son, aged 15, and a college-age daughter. They’re doing the same back-and-forth that Barbara and I did, trying to get the Sparta house ready to move into and their house in New Jersey ready to sell. The difference is that instead of it being 60 miles between their old house and the new one, as it was for Barbara and me, it’s almost ten times that far to New Jersey. Right now, she’s living here, camping out in one room, while her husband is living in New Jersey, taking care of stuff there.

She dropped by our house yesterday and visited for an hour or two. Barbara of course gave her a tour of the house. After she’d left, I asked Barbara if she’d showed her our food storage areas downstairs. She had, and of course Barbara got the usual comment about how if things turned bad they’d show up at our door. Barbara said she’d also said that her husband wanted to build their food storage and so on, so it sounds as though we’ll be getting to know another family of preppers. The husband and son are also shooters, and the son is excited about getting started hunting down here.

For future reference:

o A 3-liter soft drink bottle can hold 5 pounds plus an ounce or two of white flour if you tap it well to pack it down.

o A 1.75 liter Tropicana orange juice bottle can hold 3 pounds plus an ounce or two of corn meal if you tap it well to pack it down.

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